Iboga is a shrub. It is used for ritual and ceremonial purposes in some African cultures. The root bark of the plant is also used as medicine. Ibogaine is a chemical in iboga which is illegal in the United States. People take iboga for fever, influenza (the flu), swine flu, high blood pressure, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, and nerve disorders. They also take it for preventing fatigue and drowsiness, for increasing sex drive, for fighting substance abuse and addictions, and as a general tonic.
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Moringa leaves are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. One cup of fresh, chopped leaves (21 grams) contains
- Protein: 2 grams
- Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
- Iron: 11% of the RDA
- Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
- Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDA
Seed extracts are used by French and German pharmaceutical manufacturers in medicines for geriatric use, for treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. There has been a steady trade in seeds since the 1980s, with several hundred tonnes of seeds exported to these customers from CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, DR Congo and Congo.
The fruit is considered edible and a root decoction is drunk three times daily to treat post-partum pains and hernia. The wood has its uses too: for arrows and sheaths, musical instruments and its fibres are strong enough to make rope.
A traditional African use of the voacanga seeds is to produce visions – when ingested, voacanga africana causes a mild to strong stimulation lasting several hours, and higher doses are said to have a strong hallucinogenic effect. The root bark is used as a hunting drug and stimulant. Itâ€™s also reported to be a potent aphrodisiac.
Yohimbe is a natural herbal supplement that is strongly associated with anti-aging effects. Yohimbe has a long history of use in Western Africa, and is still widely used there today, to treat a variety of sexual disorders, including low libido and erectile dysfunction.
Medically, yohimbine is a pre-synaptic alpha-2-adrenergic blocking agent, which is capable of increasing sympathetic nervous system activity, thus resulting in increased amounts of epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) and norepinephrine in the blood stream.
The main effects epinephrine and norepinephrine have on the body include increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Yohimbe is also often used for weight loss, although the evidence supporting this claim is inconclusive.